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Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You

LordZardoz Why not use with facial recognition? (264 comments)

If an officer with a camera is in the presence of a man who facial recognition flags as a possible match for someone with an open warrant out on them, it would probably be a good thing for the officer to be alerted about the match.

Now, of course what I am thinking of is the situation where some guy with an open murder warrent in Florida is spotted laying low in Wyoming. Having that guy picked up is probably a good thing.

I wonder exactly what sort of abuse you foresee with that situation? I am sure there are things that can go wrong.

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about 8 months ago
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Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

LordZardoz What about ongoing works? (360 comments)

Consider Spiderman.

The character was created in 1962, which puts it just over 50 years of existence. But the character is still being used in new and ongoing works. I expect that 100 years from now, the character will continue to exist in some form.

I think copyright laws need to recognize that characters used in ongoing works need different protection then something like a song (which is written once).

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about 10 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

LordZardoz Executions should be mechanical (1038 comments)

I am personally not in favor of a the Death Penalty, but I can understand why it exists and the arguments for having it.

I would say that if your going to have Capital punishment, then the means of execution should be mechanical, and performed in such a way as to minimize suffering. To that end, I agree with the idea of a dropping a sufficiently large mass on the skull of the condemned man, sufficient enough to crush a skull like a grape.

Lethal injection primarily exists to make executions more palatable by making them less gruesome. I disagree with this. Even if justified, ending a human life should not be an easy thing for those who must decide that it must happen.

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about 10 months ago
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Pirate Bay Founder's Custody Extended to February 5th

LordZardoz Why put this guy in Solitary at all? (127 comments)

Solitary Confinement is the sort of thing that should only be used for the following reasons:

  - The inmate is dangerous to both other inmates and to the prison staff
  - The inmate is guilty of crimes that call for very harsh punitive measures, but execution is not an option
  - The inmate is being punished for rules infractions in prison (in which case solitary should be used for a limited time).

You need to have solitary confinement as an option to punish an inmate, otherwise the inmate may become uncontrolable. If your in prison and have no chance to ever be released, then why not stab that annoying cellmate / guard? They cannot keep you locked up for 2 life times. Solitary is the 'things can still get worse' measure.

The guy who created pirate bay is guilty of copyright infringement. I am going to assume he is not a threat to himself or others. So what basis is there for dropping him in solitary confinement?

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about a year ago
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Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter's Confidential Files During Raid

LordZardoz Not likley (622 comments)

Their names were never published, and only discovered in an illegal search. If I write down in my notebook 'Cowboy Neal has inappropriate sexual relations with his water bottle', and never tell anyone what I have written, and never publish it, than what exactly am I guilty of?

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about a year ago
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Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?

LordZardoz Why license it out? (277 comments)

Pokemon X and Y have sold 4 million copies worldwide in two days.

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/15/pokemon-x-and-y-sales-figures-revealed

The retail price for those games is about $40.

If they license that content out to another platform, they lose a non trivial cut of that cash to the platform owner. If they release on the iPhone, I do not think the title would sell very well to an audience that expects everything to cost $1.

$40 * 4 million = $160 million in sales.

Do you think Pokemon would move 160 million paid sales on the iPhone?

Keeping that product on their own platform will give Nintendo the bulk of that profit, and it will help increase the size of the audience for other 3DS titles.

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about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

LordZardoz What constitutes a reasonable search? (610 comments)

The 4th Amendment of the US constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, this can be taken to mean that the police cannot pull a random passer by aside and go wrist deep into your rectal cavity on the off chance you might have something illegal up there, as it is unreasonable. I think I will get no disagreement on that.

Now, the reason that the above example is an unreasonable search is that it is absurdly invasive and there is no warrant, and in that particular scenario, there is no way to easily verify that the police officer doing the search did not plant evidence (or basically lie about finding a quantity of drugs or contraband up there).

The above example might become reasonable if the authorities were to follow due process and had reasonable cause to believe that there is something deep inside the suspects rectal cavity.

I think most people get hung up on the idea that the only reasonable search is one that has a warrant.

If the authorities opt instead to data mine thousands of e-mails looking for evidence of random wrongdoing the assumption of many is going to be that it is an unreasonable search. But on what basis is it unreasonable? Lets say such a search of several thousand suspects the authorities identify a few potential suspects of legit crimes, and the authorities then prosecute them. The people that were not implicated in that search will probably never know they were under scrutiny, and they would be hard pressed to prove any actual harm from that search.

So why exactly is that kind of search unreasonable? I am not about to say that such a search is reasonable (at least not without a warrant to go looking for something specific), but the only argument against it is for an expectation of privacy. While such an argument is valid, I am not aware of any laws in the US that guarantee privacy from non invasive scrutiny.

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about a year ago
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Its Nuclear Plant Closed, Maine Town Is Full of Regret

LordZardoz On the topic of Nuclear waste, a question (380 comments)

The big issue with Fukushima at the moment is the build up of radioactive water that they do not want to introduce into the ocean / food chain.

If one were to use Electrolysis to separate the radioactive water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, would the Hydrogen and Oxygen also be radioactive? Or would the radioactive matter be condensed?

It may not be the most efficient use of power to convert the amount of water at Fukushima, but it would probably be much easier to manage the waste if it were condensed.

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about a year ago
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Transport Expert Insists 'Don't Dismiss Wacky Hyperloop'

LordZardoz Planes vs Trains: Infrastructure cost? (385 comments)

I wonder how air travel compares to rail when you also factor in the cost of the required infrastructure. Trains are much more fuel efficient, but laying massive amounts of rail is not cheap.

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about a year ago
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Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV

LordZardoz Re:Do sport fans age out? (304 comments)

Interesting question. I am going to guess no. Sports are surprisingly tied to modern culture.

While it is clearly not 'high culture' in the way that Opera, art galleries, ballet, and such manage to, sports are surprisingly important to modern culture. Humans are competitive with one another. Sports are one of the few acceptable physical outlets for that. Competition in sports allow humans to compete with one another, either individually or in groups, without resorting to violence. Humans are tribal, and sports teams push several psychological buttons for people (belong to a group, and lets kick the ass of those other guys from across the river).

Individual sports may increase or decrease in importance over time, but I expect that some form of sports will continue to be culturally relevant and important as long as humans are both competitive with one another and want to impress women by showing off how dominant they are.

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about a year ago
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Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV

LordZardoz I on the other hand am very happy with cable (304 comments)

I have no idea who got voted off the island. But I am very satisfied with what I get from having Cable tv.

  - New episodes of good tv shows like Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Dexter, and Breaking bad show up on broadcast first. Streaming is absolutely more convenient. But running up against spoilers is too damn easy to do by accident if you use any kind of social media sites.

  - New tv shows like 'The Amerikans' on FX show up on broadcast long before going to streaming sites, unless they are Netflix Originals.
  - Live sports matter. Turns out I like watching people fight in a cage for money. The UFC puts out a surprising amount of events on free TV; 9 events on 'Free TV' (each being 6 hours (prelims and main card) plus an additional 9 events with prelim fights, and another event on Fox Sports 1 tomorrow. Watching these events legally through the official streaming service is much more expensive. Watching illegally is a pain in the ass. On top of that is more content from Bellator on Spike and regional promotions on Fight Network. MMA is not for everyone, but it is for me. And for others, its the NFL, or NBA, or NHL, or MLB.

  - Also, as far as social media + spoilers, as much as it can hurt the experience of seeing a show to know the ending, it fucking kills any kind of sporting event.

  - Not all content that you may wish to watch is going to be streamed easily. My wife is a fan of the Food Network. Not much demand for streams of those shows.

Personally, I love that Netflix and others are doing their own content now, but we are still pretty far off from being able to cherry pick only the shows I want to see and then pay only for that content.

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about a year ago
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Container Ship Breaks In Two, Sinks

LordZardoz Nagasaki, Japan (361 comments)

According to Wikipedia:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, Japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOL_Comfort

So when did Japan become a 3rd world country that lacked advanced and sophisticated systems?

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about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Won't Companies Upgrade Old Software?

LordZardoz New systems have to be both cheaper and better. (614 comments)

In order to displace something, the new thing has to be all that the old thing was and then some more (some more crucial features not just some more sugar). And then it has to be cheaper to top it. Until you can satisfy both requirements, trying to get someone to upgrade is probably going to be an uphill battle.

If a company invested a non trivial amount of effort into creating a web enabled system that was dependent on IE 6, it will likely continue to be used until it becomes nearly impossible to get IE 6 to run on newer computers. Can you guarantee that the new system will do something the old system could not do? If you cannot, then it is probably going to be cheaper at any given moment to fix / replace the few older computers that break down then to reimplement the entire system.

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about a year and a half ago
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Robots Help Manufacturing Recover Without Adding Jobs

LordZardoz Lower costs of living == lower barrier for success (559 comments)

Pulling a number right out of my ass, lets say a typical person needs to earn $35 000 to $45 000 a year to support themselves at today's cost of living. . Lets say that random person X, working at a creative class job might only be able to earn $15 000 a year simply because he is just not that good.

Now lets automate the shit out of everything. Lets say we have robotic lumberjacks, miners, farmers, prefabricated construction factories for building homes, the whole smash. Lets also say that some kind of wonder tech combo both reduces the energy requirements while also making renewable energies viable for a standard of living comparable to the american average. Pure science fiction bullshit sure, but lets set that aside for a moment.

The real cost of living is going to fall way the hell down. Rich and Poor still exist because humans suck and we compete for mates as much as anything else. But the cost for a person to secure food and shelter drops to something like $10 000 a month.

The guy who can only earn $15 000 in a creative type job is going to be able to live while doing that job. Maybe they aren't living the high live but they can probably get by as well as they would have before.

Also, lets not call it a 'creative' type job, and instead call it a 'cultural' job. Some people will create art of various forms. Some people will perform (art or sports). Some will teach. I am sure some people will just try to party all the damn time.

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about a year and a half ago
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Hydrogel Process Creates Transparent Brain For Research

LordZardoz Intresting tech (46 comments)

Sounds like an optimal way to clear your mind.

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about a year and a half ago
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Why Girls Do Better At School

LordZardoz Some may disagree (690 comments)

Apples and Oranges -- A Comparison
by Scott A. Sandford, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California

http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume1/v1i3/air-1-3-apples.html

Being slightly more relevant, comparing how men and women learn is worth while. Even if they are different, both are trying to accomplish the same thing. Men and Women obtain an education and learn skills in an effort to be economically self reliant within a modern economy. Apple's and Oranges are both fruit products that can be consumed to provide calories and nutrition.

Trying to compare something entirely different (ie, the Geopolitical ramifications of the collapse of communism within the soviet union vs an Apple) is truly useless.

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about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do Coding Standards Make a Difference?

LordZardoz Use a script or a tool to reformat the code (430 comments)

Pretty much everyone here has already said it. Coding standards to help productivity, but its a group thing. ie: its more of a a +3% to +5% gain for everyone who has to share code and know what the hell is going on. Coding to a standard that is not a habit for yourself is going to be a bit of a hit to your own productivity.

So if you hate dealing with the existing code standard, you could either implement a script to do the reformatting for you, or you can find an existing tool to do the same. Write however the hell feels natural, and when its working, run the conversion script and retest. If possible, convert in both directions (ie, go from official standard to your preference before you start modifying it again). It wont help structural issues (ie, if using certain design patterns is forbidden), but it will deal with the camel case vs underscore, variable name prefixes, space vs tab, and where the hell to put curly braces.

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about 2 years ago
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After Weeks of Trying, UK Cryptographers Fail To Crack WWII Code

LordZardoz What if that is the one time pad? (263 comments)

What if that is not an encrypted message, but the encryption key for a message?

I am not a cryptography expert, but I suppose there would be no way to discern the two right?

If it is the key and not a message, than no amount of decryption effort would matter.

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about 2 years ago
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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

LordZardoz I have had an interesting 4 years. (524 comments)

Life was excellent and improving dramatically for me 4 years ago, and the time between October 2008 and April or May of 2009 was probably one of the best periods of my life. For part of that time I was unemployed, but other factors kept things very good for me.

Due to the death of someone who is more important to me than anyone else will ever realize died right about the time I was starting my current job. The period between June of 2010 and June of 2011 was probably the single most difficult year of my life.

Since then though, things have dramatically improved.

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more than 2 years ago
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What Should Start-Ups Do With the Brilliant Jerk?

LordZardoz Re:Change the relationship (480 comments)

The justification is that the 'jerk' in question was basically murdering the teams morale and enthusiasm.

Some portion of management types were brainstorming ideas on how to improve things (ie, ideas for new services or products) and getting everyone involved and excited. Then the rockstar / genius / jerkass guy would crap on everything saying everything sucks. As brilliant and as respected as Employee X was, no one else really wanted to work with him.

Now, it is possible that the ideas being discussed were terrible ideas that needed to be shot down. But lets say that the ideas were not necessarily bad ideas, and just ones that employee X does not agree with. If your an employee, your part of a team. If your the most valuable member of the team, you should be taken seriously. But Employee X should not be allowed to become the proverbial albatross around the teams neck.

Employee X is like a fan favorite superstar player on a Basketball team that can score crap tons of goals, but the team is still losing. The coach has ideas to fix it, but they mean Employee X is not going to score as many goals. Letting the Superstar do what he wants is not going to get the team to win (they are already doing that). Making the changes the superstar wants the team to make is also not going to work (team cannot afford expensive players needed to back up the superstar).

At that point, the Superstar is usually traded, the team makes the changes they feel they need to. Sometimes the team starts to win again. Sometimes they lose worse. No matter what though, something needed to change.

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more than 2 years ago

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